UPCOMING EVENT: Walmart Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Okeechobee

Total domination

Jeremy Ethridge weighs in a smallmouth from his winning three-day haul of 60 pounds, 15 ounces.

BENTON, Ky. - He had it won today before he ever weighed in a bass. Jeremy Ethridge of Nashville, Tenn., caught a mind-boggling 60 pounds, 15 ounces of bass out of Kentucky Lake over three days to claim the EverStart Series Central Division win by a dominating 11-pound, 6-ounce margin. Even fate seems to have played a hand in Ethridge's victory. He decided during day-one boat launch to forsake his original plan and go fish a spot he found in practice, and by the time he was handed his winning check of $32,913, that single spot had produced for him every bass he weighed in during the tournament. Making his tale even more surreal was that every one of those bass was caught on the same bait, and not just any bait - a beat-up old Strike King Series 5 crankbait that was missing an eye, earning itself the nickname One-Eyed Jack. Like a wizard's wand, One Eyed Jack seemed made for Ethridge alone, as he handed the bait to his co-angler at one point and told him to aim it on the sweet spot. The co-angler never got a bite. As for Ethridge, he got bit - a lot. On day one he caught a limit weighing 23 pounds, 3 ounces to end the day in second. He took a commanding 9-pound, 5-ounce lead on day two with another limit weighing 27 pounds, 14 ounces. He only caught three today worth 9 pounds, 14 ounces, but in the end it didn't matter what he brought to the scales. The tournament was over before he weighed in his first bass. One stump, one hole, one bait EverStart Central Kentucky Lake champion Jeremy Ethridge holds his trophy in one hand and his winning bait in the other."I had a lot better tournament than I thought I would have," Ethridge said. "The first day at blastoff, I was headed somewhere other than where I stopped - chasing ghosts. I turned the boat around and went the other way. The best I can tell, I didn't see anybody close to me." The spot Ethridge originally had in mind Thursday morning was a place recommended to him by his tournament roommates Mike Hollingshead (who took second place in this event) and noted Kentucky/Barkley pro Sam Lashlee, who ultimately finished 42nd. "The morning of the tournament, I thought, `You can't catch somebody else's fish,'" he said. So he moved on to an area around Big Sandy, just sitting on the river. "It was one stump, one hole," he said. "I found it in practice and caught one bass off it. It's an area known for big fish, but I didn't see anybody there. I might have seen some crappie fishermen. I caught every fish I caught off the same stump." As for One-Eyed Jack, Ethridge thinks its handicap, so to speak, is what made it such a hot bait for him this week. "It's blind in one eye, so it can't see those big bass coming after him," he said with a laugh. The week began with a lot of talk about the falling water levels, and conditions played right to Ethridge's advantage - and to a lot of people's disadvantage. "I'd like to thank the Corps of Engineers for pulling water out of those bushes," he said. "There are some legends on this lake, and they've got bush after bush after bush. I've had a great time and worked hard all week." Fate, luck, hard work and a little help from his friends, particularly Hollingshead, made Ethridge a lot richer today. "This is what I dreamed about as a kid," said Ethridge, who fished only his second-ever FLW Outdoors event this week. "I owe it all to Mike Hollingshead - he's my boss, my sponsor, my mentor and my friend." Hollingshead moves from third to second Mike Hollingshead took second place with 49 pounds, 8 ounces.After spending two days in the No. 3 spot, Mike Hollingshead of Murfreesboro, Tenn., brought in one of only three limits on the final day to move up on the day it counted, earning $11,285 as the second-place finisher. Hollingshead caught 49 pounds, 9 ounces of bass over three days, his best day being day one, when he weighed in 23 pounds, 1 ounce. He followed that up on day two with 14 pounds and weighed in five today worth 12 pounds, 8 ounces. "I was catching them on river drops in the mouths of creeks on a Strike King Red Eye Shad in the sexy shad color," he said. "I pulled up on some spots and the fish were there. I started out on a spinnerbait and then went to a jig. Then that slowed down, and I went with the sexy shad and a Series 5 the rest of the time." Anderson leaps from 10th to third Brent Anderson jumped from 10th to third with one of the dayWeighing in another of the day's three limits was Brent Anderson of Kingston Springs, Tenn., with a three-day total of 47 pounds, 7 ounces that earned him $9,404 as the third-place finisher. Anderson brought in 14 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and worked his way into the top 10 on day two with a catch weighing 16 pounds, 6 ounces. He improved that by a hair today, weighing in five worth 16 pounds, 8 ounces. "I was fortunate to spend all three days on that one little school I found on Tuesday," he said. "I caught them on everything in my boat." Anderson made a 67-mile run every day to New Johnsonville, keying on a 50-yard stretch of creek channel ledge that had a school of shad hanging around a few stumps. "I went back and forth, four to six hours a day, mixing up baits," he said, including a Strike King 5XD and a Series 5 Silent crankbait. Colors included a chartreuse blueback, citrus shad and, of course, sexy shad, the color of choice for many of this week's contenders. "I caught probably 60 fish a day, and my weight went up a little each day," he said. "I thinned out the smaller fish and got them out of the way. I couldn't get a bait to the big ones because of the little ones." Fox stays close, lands in fourth Travis Fox took fourth place with 45 pounds over three days.Earning fourth-place honors is day-one leader Travis Fox of Rogers, Ark., with a three-day total of 45 pounds. He caught 23 pounds, 13 ounces Thursday but was never quite able to reach that again, bringing in 17-15 yesterday but only one bass worth 3-4 today. "Kentucky Lake is my favorite stop anywhere, bar none," he said. "I can't get over how good this fishery is and how kind the people are." While many leaders chose to make the long run this week, Fox played it close, fishing main-river ledges in 6 to 8 feet of water. "I was targeting staging areas for prespawn bass, throwing a 1/2-ounce green pumpkin PJ's Finesse football-head jig with a green pumpkin pocket craw trailer," he said. "I was dragging it, fishing it ultra-slow." Fox earned $8,463 for his fourth-place finish. McMullin takes fifth Bobby McMullin landed in fifth with a three-day catch of 43 pounds, 2 ounces.Like Fox, fifth-place finisher Bobby McMullin stayed close, fishing between the launch site at Moors Marina and Kentucky Dam. "I just jumped secondary points with a jerkbait," he said. "On some main-lake laydowns I fished a jig. With a little luck, I caught the key fish during the tournament instead of practice." McMullin caught 15-10 on day one, 16-15 on day two and 10-9 today to bring his three-day total to 43-2, good for $7,523. "In practice I never caught a fish over 3 pounds," he said. "This one reversed, and I caught them when it counted." Best of the rest Finishing in the No. 6 position is Todd Hollowell, who caught 42-13 over three days.Rounding out the top 10 pro qualifiers for the Kentucky Lake event: 6th: Todd Hollowell of Fishers, Ind., 42-13 7th: Tom Silber of Labadie, Mo., 39-13 8th: Tim Sprouse of Clarksville, Tenn., 36-0 9th: Brian Fitzpatrick of LaCrosse, Wis., 35-10 10th: Travis Loyd of Kinmundy, Ill., 34-0 EverStart Series Central Division action resumes July 14-16 on the Detroit River in Trenton, Mich.

Tags: headline-story 


Devere Takes BFL Wild Card Win

The decision of what to fish come tournament time can be difficult for most. For others – like Mike Devere – relying on a single bait that you have confidence in is all you need. Devere’s one bait, one rod method was strong enough to carry him to victory by nearly 2 pounds in the BFL Wild Card held on Lake Hartwell. READ MORE »


Hanselmania 4.0

Saturday, in Paducah, Ky., on the shores of the Ohio River, Ray Hanselman rewrote history for the second time this season. After winning all three 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division events, which had never been done before, Hanselman came to Kentucky and won the Rayovac FLW Series Championship. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 3 Coverage

The final day of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River will largely be fished on the Tennessee River, as all but two anglers rolled up it to chase smallmouths. READ MORE »


Hanselman on the Verge of Four-Peat

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River was fished primarily on the nearby Tennessee River and resulted in a major shuffling of the leaderboard. In the end, Ray Hanselman rose from second to first and will lead the top 10 into the final day with 30 pounds, 14 ounces. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 2

After two days of competition, Ray Hanselman leads the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River, but as the leaderboard has reflected, the river’s hefty smallmouths are certainly capable of producing some fireworks and providing some surprises. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 2 Coverage

Down at Paducah, the start of day two of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship was just about perfect – a light wind, temps in the low 40s and no fog. That’s not the case elsewhere. READ MORE »


Barnes Blasts 21 on the Ohio

On day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River David Barnes Sr. of China, Maine, hauled exactly 21 pounds of smallmouth across the stage to take the lead on a day that was tough for many. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from the Ohio River Day 1

Shortly after David Barnes electrified the Rayovac FLW Series Championship weigh-in with his leading weight of 21 pounds of smallmouths, Ray Hanselman followed suit with an all-smallmouth limit weighing 19 pounds. READ MORE »


Rayovac Championship Day 1 Coverage

Updates from day one of the Rayovac FLW Series Championship on the Ohio River. READ MORE »


McCaig Wins Neely Henry Regional

There are times that a little local knowledge helps you in a bass tournament, and then there are times it does not. And sometimes, it pays to ignore past experiences altogether, as Mark McCaig figured out en route to winning the Oct. 22-24, 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Neely Henry out of Gadsden, Ala. By disregarding what his local experience might have suggested he do and approaching the tournament a little differently, the Oxford, Ala., boater posted a three-day total weight of 45 pounds, 7 ounces to take home the $20,000 winner’s purse as well as a 2015 Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard. READ MORE »


Goodwin Wins at Lake of the Ozarks

Day-two leader Shonn Goodwin of Moore, Okla., held on to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Mercury at Lake of the Ozarks Oct. 22-24 by bringing four bass to the scale on the third and final day. Those fish weighed 8 pounds, 11 ounces. His three-day total of 14 bass weighed 43-13. For the win, Goodwin earned $20,000 and a new Ranger bass boat. READ MORE »


Walters Wins Wateree BFL Regional

Todd Walters relied on a combo pattern to win the Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional on Lake Wateree. The North Carolina boater fished rocky cover upstream and brush piles in the lake's clear lower end. The two-part program produced a three-day winning weight of 47 pounds, 4 ounces, which was 11 pounds better than second place. READ MORE »


Uribe By An Ounce

After Jody Jordan brought 24 pounds, 5 ounces to push his total past 66 pounds on the final day the crowd waited with bated breath for day two leader Joe Uribe Jr. to bring his fish to the scale. As Uribe transferred his third bass from the bag to the scale, he shook his head and whispered back “you’ve got it,” to the watching Jordan. READ MORE »


Anderson Wins KY Lake Regional

You might say there weren’t any surprises at the 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League Regional presented by Lowrance on Kentucky Lake Oct. 15-17. The techniques of the top 12 pros who fished the final day were typical of the Tennessee River in fall: surface fishing with frogs and Zara Spooks and winding Rat-L-Traps and ChatterBaits. The winners weren’t surprising either: Ryan Sykes of Hamilton, Ohio, won the co-angler division for the second consecutive year, and Tennessee pro Brent Anderson earned his sixth win on the Kentucky/Barkley system since 2009. READ MORE »


Grover Takes Co-angler Title on Clear Lake

Rick Grover of Trabuco Canyon, Calif., pulled in 55 pounds, 5 ounces of bass for the Rayovac FLW Series co-angler win on Clear Lake. All told, it was worth a new Ranger Z117 with a 90-horsepower outboard and $5,000. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 3



Uribe Takes Lead and AOY at Clear Lake

Joe Uribe Jr. jumped into the lead going into the final day of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake. Uribe caught 20 pounds, 13 ounces on day two for a total of 44 pounds, 8 ounces and was the only pro to weigh more than 20 pounds both days. READ MORE »


Top 5 Patterns from Clear Lake Day 2

When the scales had closed after the second day of the Rayovac FLW Series Western Division tournament presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake, no doubt more than a few anglers breathed a sigh of relief that they were still in contention. READ MORE »


Clear Lake Midday Update Day 2

Day two of the Rayovac FLW Series presented by Evinrude on Clear Lake has been a little slower than day one. READ MORE »


Crutcher Cracks 29-9

Midway through a weigh-in that was noticeably lacking in super-sized bags, Mark Crutcher of Lakeport, Calif., lit up the leaderboard with 29 pounds, 9 ounces of Clear Lake goodness. READ MORE »